CORONAVIRUS IN NY STATE: Cuomo orders all New Yorkers to wear face coverings in public as death toll tops 11,000

1010 WINS Newsroom
April 15, 2020 - 1:00 pm

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New Yorkers must wear face coverings in public as he reported another 752 people had died in the state from the coronavirus.

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    Cuomo said all people in the state must wear a mask or face covering over their nose and mouth in public.

    New Yorkers must wear the face coverings in situations where they can't practice social distancing, Cuomo said, such as when coming into contact with people on the street or riding public transit.

    Cuomo said the order will take effect in three days—on Saturday—to give New Yorkers time to comply.

    "You don't have a right to infect me," the governor said when announcing the order.

    "Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order, all customers will be required to wear a face covering while traveling with us during this pandemic, effective Friday April 17,” the MTA said in a statement on Wednesday.

    There were at least 202,208 cases and at least 10,834 deaths reported across the state as of Wednesday morning, meaning the death toll has now reached 11,586.

    Cuomo announced that the state would begin releasing "probable" deaths from coronavirus in addition to confirmed deaths, which New York City started doing this week, leading to its death toll spiking to more than 10,000.

    Cuomo said the net change in hospitalizations, ICU admissions and intubations is down but that the state is "not of the woods yet" since about 2,000 New Yorkers are being hospitalized a day and hundreds are dying.

    "Coronavirus is still a monumental public health crisis and we are losing New Yorkers every day to this virus," Cuomo said.

    On Tuesday, Cuomo criticized President Donald Trump’s claim of  “total” authority to reopen the nation’s virus-stalled economy, saying Tuesday he was talking more like a king than a president.

    Cuomo criticized Trump’s assertion Monday that “when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total.”

    “His proclamation is that he would be king, that’s what a king is,” Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing. “A king has total authority. That statement cannot stand.”

    The president made his comments after Cuomo and governors on both coasts announced multi-state compacts to coordinate reopening society amid the global pandemic.

    New York has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo said restarting the economy must be done in a smart, methodical manner or the hard-won gains of the past month could be quickly lost.

    In a tweet Tuesday, Trump appeared to liken the governors to mutinous crew members in the movie “Munity on the Bounty.”

    Cuomo said the president was “clearly unhappy.” But after taking aim at the president’s comments Tuesday in multiple TV appearances and during his state Capitol briefing, Cuomo said he would not engage in a fight with him.

    “The president is clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue,” Cuomo said. “This is too important for anyone to play politics.”

    If coronavirus infection rate starts to tick up, Cuomo said Monday, we'll know the valve has been opened too fast.

    "Any plan to reopen society MUST be driven by data and experts, not opinion and politics," he said.

    Cuomo also announced on Monday New York and five other states  have formed a regional advisory council to help re-open states once the coronavirus crisis has passed.

    New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rode Island will come together in a "cooperative" manner to form a strategy to not be "counterproductive" with each other.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report

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